About Me and My Stroke

Hi again.  As I mentioned on the front page of the site, my name is Mike.  I’ve taken up drawing as a way to regain control of my right arm and hand after having a stroke earlier this year.  Before anything else, I want to say that I consider myself very fortunate to have come away from a stroke with as little damage as I did.  If you or a loved one ever think you might be experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.  Don’t mess around with it.  Read this so that you’re prepared.

Here are some warning signs:

act-fast

When I had my stroke, I had been having issues with feeling dizzy, seeing flashes of light, and aphasia.  I didn’t get to the hospital right away.  I called my doctor’s office, but he was going on vacation and the office staff wanted me to schedule an appointment for a couple of weeks out.  That night I had some headache pain, but didn’t really think much about it.  As I was getting ready for bed, I filled a glass of water for myself at the sink.  When I tried to take a sip, I smashed the full glass directly into the side of my face.  It was like the Airplane gag about having a drinking problem.

As it turns out, we were having our heaviest snowfall of the winter that night and we were completely snowed in.  I was also having a stroke as the rest of my family slept.  Next I went to brush my teeth.  My right arm felt “funny” and I felt like I couldn’t control it.  When I tried to stop my attempts at brushing, my arm kept on moving in a wobbly brushing motion for another ten seconds or so.  By that point I was pretty scared and the thought that I might be having a stroke came into my mind.  The rest of the story is kind of a comedy of errors that ended up with me getting an MRI on my brain and ending up in the emergency room.  The MRI showed that I had a stroke and I was admitted.

I don’t really want to dwell on it.  This site is more about recovery for me, but I mention my story because I hope it encourages anyone who reads it to take action if they ever think that they even MIGHT be having stroke symptoms.  I’m still struggling with some issues from my stroke, but I know that it could have been much worse.  Some people don’t get a chance to recover.  The doctors tell me that they can’t do anything to help me with a 100% occluded carotid artery, so I take the medicines my doctor recommended and go back for regular monitoring.

I hope that anyone who visits this site will leave with either some ideas about things to draw, or some inspiration to see how far they can go with their own drawing.  As I mentioned on other posts, there are tons of people with a lot more artistic talent than I have.  I’m doing this to show that it IS possible to get better at drawing if you want to and to help myself to regain the control of my body that I lost on that snowy night.  There will always be people who are inconsiderate, rude, and uncaring.  (Like the doctor whose professional advice was to go home and pray).  It’s up to us to decide whether or not we take what people like that say to heart.  If a jerk says you can’t do something consider the source.  You probably already knew they were a jerk for some other reason.  Why would you give control of your life and what you can/will do over to them?  Hang in there and keep on trying.  Thanks for reading.

Go find some fun things to draw now.

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